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SubjectRe: ANNOUNCE: Linux Kernel ORB: kORBit
On Mon, 18 Dec 2000, Rik van Riel wrote:

> On Sat, 16 Dec 2000, Mikulas Patocka wrote:
> > > Not unless your driver is broken.
> >
> > ok_to_allocate:
> > ******* INTERRUPT ********
> > spin_lock_irqsave(&page_alloc_lock, flags);
> > /* if it's not a dma request, try non-dma first */
> > if (!(gfp_mask & __GFP_DMA))
> > RMQUEUE_TYPE(order, 0);
> > RMQUEUE_TYPE(order, 1);
> > spin_unlock_irqrestore(&page_alloc_lock, flags);
> >
> > nopage:
> > return 0;
> > }
> Now read the code carefully and see how allocations can
> end up here ... and when they can't...

GFP_ATOMIC allocations can eat all memory in 2.2. There are no free pages.
Now process wants to allocate page with GFP_KERNEL or GFP_USER. It calls
try_to_free_pages. try_to_free_pages succeeds and frees few pages.
Interrupt is received and eats pages that were just freed. RMQUEUE fails.
get_free_page returns zero. Process is shot.

> > Deadlock in getblk, if memory is full of dirty file mapped pages.
> Wrong. Getblk won't deadlock, it will just sleep and another
> thread will continue later on. Killing processes will (in 2.4)
> only happen when you run out of swap ... 2.4 will simply have
> its processes loop in alloc_pages() until memory is available.

I'm talking about 2.2. getblk will sleep until some memory becomes
available. And some memory can be available only if getblk succeeds.

> > You actually do not need network flood to kill your box. Just imagine that
> > kpiod is swapping files out too slowly, free memory is going lower and
> > lower, every process screaming with "VM: do_try_to_free_pages failed" and
> > the system is aproaching instant death.
> Umm? Can you explain how this could happen?

Imagine that kpiod is slow. try_to_swap_out returns 1 and pretends it
freed something but it didn't. It just passed request to kpiod. There are
no pages to be freed by shrink_mmap. do_try_to_swap_out calls swap_out
several times, then returns. And this repeats again and again.

There are two possible ends:

-swap_out unmaps everything and fails (all pages are pending on kpiod
queue), try_to_free_pages fails, process is shot

-as try_to_free_pages is pretending that it freed something, free memory
is going lower and lower; finally it reaches zero - see above


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